Blog Archives

Bumble Bee Stings

Bumble bees are peaceful, industrious insects that provide valuable pollination services. However, the queen and workers will use their stingers to defend themselves or their nest if disturbed. While the barbed stinger of the honey bee allows only one thrust,

Posted in Human Pests

“Seed Tick / Turkey Mite” Season Underway

Tiny lone star tick larvae (also called “seed ticks” or “turkey mites”) are active now. Hundreds recently emerged from egg masses deposited by females climbing vegetation to await passing hosts.  Reaction to multiple bites cause painful itching that can last

Posted in Human Pests

Paper Wasps, Hornets, and Yellowjackets

Paper wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets are social insects that build nests of chewed plant fibers and salivary secretions.  The nests include cells in which wasp larvae are reared on a diet consisting of caterpillars and other insects captured as the

Posted in Human Pests

Kissing Bugs

A recent rash of calls and pictures of kissing bugs from various counties indicate that this insect is active. The eastern conenose bug is a species of kissing bug that lives throughout Kentucky. These insects can be found in or

Posted in Human Pests

Expect Midges and Gnats after Rains

‘Midge’ and ‘gnat’ are common names for many species of small, non-biting flies resembling mosquitoes. They can be nuisances following extend rainy periods. Large mating swarms often appear about dusk. Irritation comes when many of the small flies land on

Posted in Human Pests

Chiggers

Chiggers are the immature stage of certain mites that live in overgrown brushy or grassy areas, especially where small rodents are abundant. People pick up chiggers while in shady, humid areas near stream banks, under or around trees, or in

Posted in Human Pests

Watch for the Longhorned Tick

The longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis), an exotic tick from east Asia, was detected recently in Benton County, Arkansas. It was initially found in New Jersey in 2017, and has also been collected in West Virginia and Virginia. There are no

Posted in Human Pests

Thrips Can Be Cause of “Mystery Bites” and “Pool Miseries”

Thrips are tiny plant-feeding insects that leave pastures, hay fields, or grassy areas in large numbers immediately after these areas are mowed. The tiny insects can fly or be blown by winds to end up in yards or around swimming

Posted in Human Pests

Tick Season Is Underway

Tick season is underway, so it is important to take precautions to protect yourself from bites. Check yourself every 2 hours while in areas were ticks are known or likely to be present and very thoroughly after returning home from

Posted in Human Pests

Thwart Ticks Through: 1 Repellents, 2 Early Detection, and 3 Prompt Removal

The lone star tick and the American dog tick (Figure 1) are the most common tick species found on humans and companion animals in Kentucky. These ticks are significant threats to everyone who works, plays, hunts, hikes, or camps in

Posted in Human Pests

Watch For Blacklegged Ticks

Adult blacklegged ticks seek hosts from November through March. They are active whenever the temperature is above about 40oF. Females (Figure 1) take blood meals from a variety of hosts, including humans and companion animals. Blacklegged ticks have been noticeably

Posted in Human Pests, Pet Pests

Tree Chiggers: Oak Leaves with a Bite

Dealing with chiggers is never pleasant but is an expected risk taken when venturing into tall grass during mid- to late summer. Unfortunately, there are other ways to have chigger-like experiences. The oak leaf itch mite can give the same

Posted in Human Pests

Watch Out for Flannel Moth Caterpillars

There are several species of flannel caterpillars that may be encountered. The ones most commonly reported in Central and Eastern Kentucky are the black wave flannel moth caterpillar and the white flannel moth caterpillar.  Both have painful stinging hairs if

Posted in Human Pests

Wasp and Bee Magnets

Fallen, rotting fruit, along with plants infested with aphids and other sap-feeding insects, attract yellow jackets, hornets, paper wasps, bees, and flies that are looking for a late season “sweet fix.” Management Options Here are some ways to try to

Posted in Human Pests

Stingers

Sweat Bees Sweat bees (Figure 1) are solitary insects that busily visit flowers to collect pollen and nectar that they carry back to their burrows. Many species in Kentucky have dark bodies while others are bright with a metallic sheen.

Posted in Human Pests